The #OptOut Writing Contest is Back: Enter Now and Compete for $6000 in Prizes

1 Jul 2024

After a brief hiatus, the #OptOut writing contest, which kicked off earlier this year, is back.

We’ll get into the details shortly. First, a quick reminder of why #OptOut was launched in the firstplace:

The #OptOut Writing Contest, presented by Ãut Labs and HackerNoon, is dedicated to Web3 hacktivists who champion true decentralization. It serves as a rallying cry against monopolies and centralized structures that threaten the promise of freedom within the Web3 ecosystem.

The contest's opening theme, 'OptOut of a System that doesn’t represent you,' revisited the foundational ideals of decentralized technologies through the lens of #autonomy, #identity, and #self-sovereignty. And as we shared in the winners' announcement, we were blown away by the talent and creativity on display.

Now, we are thrilled to unveil 2 new themes for the final stage of the #OptOut Writing Contest:

  • Theme 2: Create Your Own Standard

  • Theme 3: Break Ties with the Status Quo

These themes and their respective subtopics—3 each—will run concurrently. Participants can compete for a total prize pool of $6000 in USDT by submitting valid entries before submissions close on October 9, 2024, at 11:59 PM EST.

#OptOut Writing Contest: Final Stage Structure

Theme 2 - Create Your Own Standard

With a prize pool of $3k (in USDT) for 6 writers, this theme is split into 3 main subtopics.
Here’s how you should tackle them:

  1. #interaction: Trace the evolution of digital interactions from early Internet forums to contemporary social media giants. Consider decentralized web technologies such as Verifiable Credentials (VC), Zero Knowledge Proofs (ZKP), and Āut’s Interaction Tree. Discuss Web3’s potential as a decentralized social fabric, highlighting concepts like shared ownership, incentivized participation, and enforceable rules via blockchain technology.

  1. #reputation: How can reputation be evaluated in the digital space? Consider Āut's innovative Āutonomy Matrix and its unified system for measuring participation-based Global Reputation in fully decentralized environments. Examine the historical evolution of reputation across civilizations and its modern-day significance in a decentralized, non-hierarchical society.

  1. #trust: What does trust mean today? is it obsolete or more relevant than ever in a decentralized world? Consider whether reliance on mathematically verifiable systems in decentralized environments constitutes a form of trust in itself.

Detailed writing prompts for this theme and its topics can be found here. Please review them thoroughly before starting your draft.

Prizes for Theme 2

A total of $3000 (in USDT)  is up for grabs - $1000 for each tag #interaction, #reputation, and #trust.
Prize breakdown for each tag:

1st place - $750 in USDT
2nd place - $250 in USDT

Theme 3 -  Break Ties with the Status Quo

With a prize pool of $3k (in USDT) for 6 writers, this theme is also split into 3 main topics.\Here’s how you should approach them:

  1. #coordination: Explore the evolution and impact of coordination from early history to modern technology, using creative analogies, real-world examples, and decentralized models. Analyze its development, challenges, and future possibilities.

  1. #governance: Discuss role-based governance and decision-making in decentralized projects. How do we set fair rules, communicate across different perspectives, and achieve collaborative autonomy? Examine governance evolution, historical perspectives, and the challenges of on-chain governance.

  1. #system: What makes a system ‘tick’? Interrogate system design and the balance between technology and human factors. Consider money's role in a unified system. Discuss criteria for defining systems, real-world design examples, and the role of human capital as a measurable asset.

You can find detailed writing prompts for this theme and its topics here. Please read them carefully before starting your draft.

Prizes for Theme 3

Like with theme 2, a total of $3000 (in USDT)  is up for grabs - $1000 for each for each tag #coordination. #governance and #system

Prize breakdown for each tag:

1st place - $750 in USDT
2nd place - $250 in USDT

The OptOut Writing Contest by Āut Labs: Guidelines and FAQs

Who Can Enter the Contest?​

Anyone over the age of 18. There are no location restrictions.

Can I Write Under a Pen Name?

You can either use your real name, or a pseudonym when setting up your HackerNoon profile.

How Can I Enter the Contest?

  1. Sign up or login to HackerNoon with your Web3 wallet. Details here.
  2. Use this template to enter the contest.
  3. Write your piece and ensure it aligns with the theme you choose.
  4. Each entry must include the topic-specific tag (e.g., #interaction, #trust, etc.) along with the general competition tags (#optout).

Can I use AI to write a story?

​Sure, you can! We will notice it, though, and you will be disqualified 😇 Humans can write beautifully - and we can’t wait to read beautiful human submissions.

How Long Will the Contests Run?​

The final stage of the contest will run for about 3 months.

For the final stage:
Submissions open: July 1, 2024
Submissions close: October 9, 2024.

Can I submit more than one entry to the contest?

Of course! Each story submission will count as a new entry into the writing contest.
You may also submit multiple stories per theme or take on all the themes simultaneously. The choice is all yours.

How are the winners selected?

  • After submissions close, we’ll review all the received entries and select the finalists.
  • Next, the finalists’ stories will be voted on by HackerNoon staff.
  • A total of 12 winners will be chosen: 6 winners for each theme, with 2 winners selected for each tag or main topic.

Apart from $6k in prizes, the sponsor has committed to offering the winners and standout contributors a place at ĀutDAO in a creative role!

Ready to get started?

You can use these prompts to enter the contest:

Prompts for Theme 2

Prompts for Theme 3

Good luck, hacktivists!

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